WORDS: Aaron Frank
Q: You won at Laguna Seca in 2009. Do you enjoy this track?
A: Yes. This racetrack has a very special layout—up and down, with a lot of banked corners. It’s tricky. You have to be perfect and focused every lap. It’s also hard, physically. You have to have strength.
Q: Are you and Stoner riding the same bike?
A: Last year we were on the same bike, and this year also. It isn’t built to suit me, or Casey, or anyone else—it’s built to be fast. The seat and handlebars are different so I can control the bike, but engine-wise, chassis-wise, it’s the same.
Q: You’ve ridden all three iterations of MotoGP bike: 990, 800 and 1000. Which do you prefer?
A: I like the 1000 the best, because of the torque. You come out of the corner in a longer gear and the bike still pulls. The 800 was easier to ride, but I prefer the challenge of the 1000.
Q: Would limiting electronics make racing closer?
A: I don’t see electronics, or traction control, as something to limit. Without electronics, the races would be even more spread out. Without technology you cannot win. In the past you could override the bike, but now the riders are all so good that everything else has to be exactly right.
Q: Do you have any talents off the bike?
A: I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was little, so I don’t know yet if I have other special talents. I love to play music. Maybe when I retire I will discover something else.